The 1997 fall season for modern art augured well for modern art when Christie's sold 57 paintings of the Victor and Sally Ganz collection for a total of 206 million dollars on November 10th in New-York.
Several works by Picasso were sold well above estimates
(US $ 81 million more than expected) notably "Le Rêve"
("The Dream"), a 1932 oil on canvas, which went for US $ 48,4 millions. Another Picasso, "Woman seated in a chair", 1913, reached $ 24,7 millions. A painting of the "Femmes d'Alger" ("Women of Algiers") series, again by Picasso, sold for almost US $ 32 millions and "Chat à l'Oiseau" was bought for $ 8,2 millions. The record price for a work by Picasso still stands at US $ 51,67 millions for "Les Noces de Pierrette" in 1990 by the Etude Binoche in Paris. Two works by American artist Jasper Johns reached US $ 8,3 millions and $ 7,9 millions respectively. Victor and Sally Ganz were a couple of passionate collectors who bought works wisely during the 1940's and 1950's. Victor thus bought Picasso's "Le Rêve" for US $ 7,000 in 1941.
For several years he only bought paintings by the Spanish master who he met on the French Riviera more than once. Victor died in 1987 and his wife ten years later. They both spent less than
US $ 2 millions for their splendid collection.
The Christie's sale seemed to herald a return to high prices for modern art works after a lull of several years which was caused by the effects of the Gulf war and intense speculation on the art market between 1987 and 1990. CLAUDE MARUMOAuction sales expert for 40 years. Notably sold a Claude Monet painting in Bayeux, Normandy, for US $ 5 million. Was also in charge of the sale of the famous Renan collection in Paris 10 years ago. Tel Paris (33) 01 42 60 08 66. Fax : (33) 01 40. 15 96 04 E-mail :